Casserole’s kissing cousin, savory vegetarian dinner pies make for a hearty, satisfying and comforting weeknight meal. These dishes were created to pack lots of nutrition into a single dish, and they taste like home. That’s not to mention, dinner pies are great to make in advance and eat later as leftovers or for lunch. If you’re making one, consider making a couple and freezing one for later use. Our sister publications have featured bunches of recipes for dinner pies over the years. Here are a few to try.
A pile of grains under a stir-fry or stew is great, but if you’re tired of that presentation, try this pie. Grains, veggies and some protein are all baked into a pretty wedge of golden goodness–easy to eat or pack in a lunch.
2 cups onion, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup millet
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 large eggs
Olive oil for pan
Heat a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium-high heat for a few seconds, then add oil. Add onions and sauté, lowering heat as they soften. Cook until golden and sweet. Add millet and stir, cooking until grains are hot and fragrant. Add stock, salt, thyme and carrot, and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and lower heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 30 minutes, then quickly add broccoli to pan, cover again, and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff, let cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, stir millet with cheese and eggs and scrape into greased pie pan. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden on top and firm to the touch. Slice and serve warm. Serves 6.
The sweetness of the brown-sugar caramelized onions renders it dessert-like. Paired with the nutty, full-flavored Gruyère, it makes for a truly satisfying flavor experience. Although this homemade crust recipe is simple and yields a flaky, delectable crust, you could substitute a store-bought crust if you prefer.
Crust: 1 1/3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1 egg yolk
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
Filling: 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds red onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
2/3 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
To make crust: In bowl of food processor, combine flour, salt and butter. Pulse to combine, about 10 seconds. Add egg yolk and 2 tablespoons ice water, and process. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, through feeding tube until dough roughly sticks together.
Dump onto sheet of plastic wrap and press together to form a ball. Flatten to disk and wrap up. Place dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
To make filling: Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat butter and oil over low heat. Add onions and cook slowly, stirring constantly, until they begin to soften. Add brown sugar and nutmeg, and continue to cook for 35 to 45 minutes, or until onions are brown and caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
To assemble: On floured work surface, roll out dough to fit 10-inch tart pan or regular (not deep-dish) pie pan. Flip dough over every so often as you roll out to prevent it from sticking. Press into tart pan. Place tart shell on baking sheet; cover with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes; remove parchment and beans; bake another 10 minutes; remove from oven to cool slightly. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees.
Beat eggs with cream. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in grated cheese. Place baked tart shell on baking tray and spoon in caramelized onions. Pour in egg mixture. Protect crust edges with aluminum pie ring or aluminum foil.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. Serves 6.
Is a pizza pie really a dinner pie? Is this French-inspired pizza more pizza or pie? Do we care? NO! It’s delicious!
Many dishes from Provence take their inspiration from Italy, which is right next door. Pissaladière usually is made in a large rectangle, like a tart. It’s great with salad and a glass of wine for a light summer lunch. Makes one 10 x 15 inch rectangular pizza.
Pizza dough (make your own with Ina’s Pissaladière dough recipe)
1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 pounds yellow onions, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 whole cloves garlic
Cornmeal, for baking
12 French black olives, preferably oil-cured, pitted
1. Heat olive oil in a very large sauté pan. Cook onions, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic over low heat for 45 minutes, until onions are sweet and cooked but not browned. Toss onions from time to time.
2. After 30 minutes, remove garlic, chop it roughly and add it back to the pan with onions.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll dough into a smooth ball and place it on a baking sheet; cover dough loosely with a damp towel. Allow dough to rest 10 minutes.
4. Roll dough lightly with a rolling pin, stretching it to form a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Place it on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
5. Spoon onion topping onto dough, leaving a ¾-inch border all around. Artfully arrange olives on top. Brush edge with olive oil.
6. Bake 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp. Serve hot on a cutting board.
Recipe courtesy The Herb Companion magazine. Get four other celebrity chefs’ favorite pizza recipes.